ELON, N.C. – An Ali Ford three-pointer with less than three minutes to play capped a 15-4 run for the Elon women’s basketball team that lifted the Phoenix to a 51-46 victory over the College of Charleston Cougars on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 15, inside Alumni Gym.
Trailing by eight midway through the second half, the Phoenix battled back and tied the game at 42-all with 2:55 to play after Sam Coffer buried a deep jumper from the top of the key.
Twenty-six seconds later after a CofC miss, Ford put the maroon and gold faithful in Alumni Gym on their feet after connecting with a deep three-ball to put Elon ahead, 45-42, and force Cougars head coach Nancy Wilson to call a timeout.
It was all Elon from that point forward, as the Phoenix kept CofC at arm’s length for the final 2:26 with stingy defense and key free throws to secure its second-straight Southern Conference win and even its league record to 4-4 on the year (8-9 overall). College of Charleston falls to 3-14 (2-6 SoCon) with the setback.
“Today was an exciting win for us. We’re starting to get everyone back and healthy and beginning to gel offensively,” said Elon head coach Charlotte Smith. “We got great looks on offense today and knew our shots would eventually fall and controlling the glass was key for us. Good things happen for us when we’re able to make things happen on the boards.
The exciting part is we still feel like we have several levels we can go this season to become a better team. Today was a great momentum-builder moving forward into the next stretch of games.”
Ford led all scorers with 15 points in the victory, including two makes from beyond the arc. Ford is now four three-pointers shy of breaking Lorretta Lawson’s all-time record of 234. Ford also finished the night with five rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Kelsey Evans was the second Elon play to finish in double figures with 12 points and seven boards. Aiesha Harper ended the day with nine points, three assists and five rebounds.
Elon outrebounded College of Charleston 48-44 in the win and outscored the Cougars 20-14 in the paint.
The Phoenix made it a two-point game at intermission after Harper took the ball 94-feet for a layup following a College of Charleston missed jumper. Elon shot 10-of-33 (30 percent) from the field in the opening frame and held the Cougars to a 27-percent clip on 8-of-30 shooting. The Phoenix ended the night shooting 33 percent from the field, while limiting the Cougars to a 25-percent mark.
The Cougars began the second half on a 7-0 run after Alyssa Frye split a pair of free throws to make it a 32-23 game with 17:08 to play.
Elon hit its first field goal of the second half at the 13:41 mark after Ford found Shannen Cochraham under the basket for a layup to make it a 32-28 game.
From there, the Phoenix outscored the Cougars 23-14 to help secure the win.
Elon trailed by as many as nine points on the day, marking the second-largest deficit the team has overcome in a win this season. The Phoenix rallied from 10-points down at Wofford on Dec. 19 to record the win.
Elon returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, for a noon-tip at Western Carolina.